How To Avoid Locksmith Scams
Unfortunately, the odds are high that all of us will need the services of a locksmith at some time in our lives. It can be frightening to trust a stranger to access your home or business, and there are a few people who may try to make some extra cash off of the situation. Here’s a list of things you can do to make sure you’re using a legitimate, trustworthy company.
Know Who to Call
Be prepared by finding a locksmith before you need one. A quick internet search will bring up a lot of results, but asking other people for first hand feedback is a more personal way to choose. You can take the time to check the company’s credentials, look over their website, or even check out the location. Save the number in your phone once you find one you like.
Get an Estimate and Ask How to Pay
When you call you should be able to get an estimate of what the work will cost over the phone. They should be able to break that cost down for you as well, including emergency fees that may apply. Beware any locksmith that offers a low “guaranteed” rate, it’s very likely to go up once labor and service fees are added after the work is done.
When the locksmith arrives get a written copy of the estimate. This gives you the ability to dispute the work they do, and the written estimate should match the one you were given over the phone.
Ask what kind of payment they accept before they start work. A locksmith who asks for cash only payment is almost sure to be a scam, all companies today accept cash, cheques and credit cards.
A Recognizable Name
This does not mean a name you already know, it refers to the work every business puts in to get their name out and be recognized by people who need their services. Be wary if they answer their phone in a generic manner, such as “locksmith service” instead of using a unique company name.
Having the company name, logo and phone number on the vehicle is easy advertising, and the technician should be in uniform and willing to show you their company ID. If someone shows up in an unmarked vehicle or can’t prove who they are, you should not let them in.
Experienced Locksmiths Are Skilled
In the movies it’s exciting to drill out a lock and replace it, but in real life that rarely has to be done. An experienced locksmith can unlock almost any door, usually with little or no damage. If they want to destroy your lock in order to fix it, they either aren’t any good or aren’t legitimate. Either way, that’s not the person you want doing the job.
Make Things Easier
Being in need of a locksmith can be stressful, but following these guidelines can make it easier and give you the comfort of knowing you have the best man for the job.